May 16, 2021

The lives of the rich and sad

Ever wonder what it might be like to be really rich? Not going to happen? Well, have a look at the most recent issue of The Atlantic and you may feel a bit better.

Mag “The Secret Fears of the Super Rich” delves into the results of revealing study of the very rich (in this instance, folks with a net worth of more than $25 million) from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

Paul Schervish, a sociology professor and the college's director, has been studying the lives and philanthropic habits of the super-wealthy for some time now.

And, guess what, they’re just like that nervous guy next door, exhibiting a surprising litany of anxieties including their sense of isolation, their worries about work and love, and most of all, their fears for their children.

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April 27, 2021

Why women need to save more than men for retirement

It's no secret that women have more trouble than men in successfully securing their retirement, largely due to smaller salaries, less time in the workforce, lower lifetime earnings and inconsistent retirement savings.

Generally speaking, the woman in the family is usually younger than her partner and is more likely to have more gaps in her employment history since women's careers are frequently interrupted to raise children.

So it may not be that great a surprise to hear that one area where men seem to be winning out is retirement confidence, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reports.

According to EBRI’s research, men are more likely than women to say they’re very confident that they will have saved enough to live comfortably throughout retirement and are equally sure about having enough money to take care of basic expenses and medical costs.

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April 06, 2021

The costs of being a gay couple

For years, gay activists have lamented the fact that same-sex couples shoulder health, legal and other living costs that heterosexual couples don’t have to worry about.

GayIn Canada at least, some of this disparity has disappeared now that same-sex couples generally have the same social and tax benefits as heterosexuals in common-law relationships.

But, with all the election talk centring around a host of “family” tax credits, it’s only a matter of time before someone starts revisiting just what constitutes a family unit and what that means in financial terms. 

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December 16, 2021

How older people will remake the world

It’s no secret that Canadians are living longer and having fewer children. 

Older-people-001 But as the ratio of the old to the young grows ever larger, few of us seem to realize how much the effects of an aging population will touch every family, every workplace, and likely shape every public debate over the next few decades.

The aging of the world’s population “pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival and nation against nation,”  claims China Inc. author Ted C. Fishman in his new book Shock of Gray.

In fact, those changes are already being felt in most parts of the world, he maintains.

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December 09, 2021

Sandwich generation starting to feel the pinch

Caring for aging parents while managing their own lives is leaving many middle-aged Canadians stressed and stretched.

Sand 56-year-old financial planner Mary Ann Jenkins, for instance, is providing support for two children in their 20s and four parents in their 80s.

She and her husband spend at least $500 a month to support their children through school, she tells the Globe and Mail. They also spend a couple of hours a week doing chores for their parents, and are anticipating bigger shoes dropping, especially since her mother’s heart attack in January.

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November 22, 2021

Tax boomers to death, suggests controversial columnist


Much ink has been made shed about the recent cover story in The Atlantic that challenges baby boomers to save the economy.

“The Boomers’ Last Chance,” shouts the cover headline, followed inside by a story entitled, “The Least We Can Do.”

And what’s that, you ask?

Well, according to columnist Michael Kinsley, it’s time for all those greedy boomers to help pare down the national debt rather than help their parents recycle the family money through bequests and inheritances.

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November 17, 2021

Helping new and old employees find common ground

Ah, what to do with the younger generation coming into the workforce today?

Little to no respect for authority; not motivated by money; work to live rather than live to work; free agent careerists; disloyal ― the list goes on and on.

The worst mercenaries going, it seems.

Nonsense, says Jennifer Deal, author of Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground. They just want a little respect. 

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November 03, 2021

Most affluent investors expect to delay retirement: survey

The biggest fear for most people is outliving their money — exceeding taxes and health care, two other big concerns. And they’re right to be worried.

Part of the problem is simply that life spans have grown as corporate pensions have shrunk, making the economics of retirement more complicated.

Nonetheless, affluent investors feel better about their retirement propects than they did a year ago, according to recent research from brokerage giant Merrill Lynch.

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September 28, 2021

Sex scandals in the workplace — What's the big deal?

Last week, Mark Hurd settled a lawsuit brought on by his former employer Hewlett-Packard after he was hired to help lead rival Oracle. You might remember Hurd resigned as HP CEO in August, following an internal investigation that found he falsified expense forms to conceal a relationship with a former TV reality show contestant turned marketing consultant, Jodie Fisher. Fisher had charged Hurd with sexual harassment (they eventually settled out of court).

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September 07, 2021

Women's retirement prospects increasingly grim: study

A significant number of women seem to be adopting a precarious retirement planning strategy.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies nearly half of women expect to keep working past age 70. What’s worse, nearly one in five of those quizzed admit that they actually have no plan to retire whatsoever.

That’s great, assuming you can hang on to a job that long. But how many of us actually end up doing that?

Not as many as you might think.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...